Casey Weiss battled an eating disorder for over a decade. This is her story of healing her relationship with food and her body which inspired her to become a certified nutritionist to help women to do the same. This is her story, and she is resilient.
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Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Casey Weiss is a holistic nutritionist based out of the Bay Area in California, who works with women who want to stop dieting but are still driven towards their health and wellness goals. After years of struggling with various eating disorders, she was finally able to heal her relationship with food and learn how to eat for her body and her goals. Utilizing the power of mindset as well as nutrition education, Casey empowers women to feel and look their best. She specializes in a root cause approach to nutrition that includes eating to optimize blood sugar, hormones and digestion as well as HOW to do so in a way that allows women to stress less about food. Women who work with her connect learn the skills they need for life to eat in a way that honors their bodies and allows them to stop viewing food and weight loss as an all-or-nothing process. Instead, they are able to truly live a life of balance and freedom.
About the Host:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients, including global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.
USA Today listed Blair as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders in 2022, and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages, and her expertise has been featured in media outlets, including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global. In the summer of 2023, a new show that will be airing on Amazon Prime Video called 'My Story' will showcase Blair's life story. She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and the Radical Resilience podcast host. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, 'The Global Resilience Project.' In her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project's community, where users share their stories of overcoming life's most challenging moments.
Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/
The Global Resilience Project; https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story.
Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.
The Global Resilience Project: https://theglobalresilienceproject.com/
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trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables, and I'm coming into you live from British Columbia. I am sitting here with my new friend, Casey, and she has the sun beaming down on her and she looks heavenly. And I'm looking out the window to snow and clouds. So and she's in California. So we're both on the West Coast. We're coming in hot. We're here to talk about some stuff. So Casey, I want to say wise, but it's wese. Right? It's TWICE, TWICE, TWICE, whatever you want. Why is Casey? So cows call you, Casey. I'm sorry, I totally butchered that. But yeah, she's the holistic nutritionist based out of the Bay Area in California. She works with women who want to stop dieting, and are still driven towards their health and wellness goals. I love this. Because this is something that I've been on a journey with since I was 12 years old. I know a lot of women are on the same path. And her story is so inspiring. And I only know a small fraction of it. So I'm excited to dive in. But basically, what I know is that you battled an eating disorder for over a decade, and that you had to heal your relationship with food and your body. And B, you became a certified nutritionist, so you can help other women who were on that same path. Thank you for being here.Casey Weiss:
Thank you. Yeah, it was a long road, but very worth it. And I don't like wall. I wish I didn't have to experience that pain at the same time having experience in that space. And understanding that struggle just gives me even more gratitude for the space I'm able to take up now. And the relationship with food in my body that I have now and also my ability to help women all over the world. Because, for me, it really started out not intentionally, which I don't think it really does most people to have an eating disorder. It's not like that was that was my aim. And what's what's kind of interesting is a lot of people come to having issues with food associated with control from a standpoint of things aren't going well in their life. And that's I think, also why for me, it was hard for me to recognize where I was at the beginning because I actually felt like I could control every part of my life and everything was going well. Like I was getting the best grades ever what was in school, I was getting records in track I had the best were friends and what I was eating and my weight was just another thing that I could control. And it got to a very unhealthy space. This continued throughout college, but eventually my body my hormones had enough and at the time I was so freaking mad at my body. I'm like, Why can't you keep restricting? Why can't you keep being this small number on the scale? Why do you like have these are just like primal instincts to to overeat. And I started gaining weight to a point that was just not feeling comfortable on my body. Obviously, I did have weight to gain but then it got to the point where I was gaining weight because unhealthy behaviors. And so I kind of got closer to the other end of the spectrum of just really not being in touch with my body obviously wasn't in proper touch of my body when I was vastly under eating but just having like feeling like out of control with my hunger levels and really suffering and secret because I find what happened with me happened to so many women, we don't want to be open with others. We're supposed to be strong and beautiful and have all of our life together and talking about these kinds of things can feel taboo and scary. And so I really suffered for far too long in silence. And it wasn't until I was able to understand how I can marry both like the ideas of intuitive eating and listening to my body while also understanding holistic nutrition. Because what I have found is that so many people are interested in the intuitive eating and listening to their body which is fantastic, but they may not then understand proper nutrition for their body. So being able to combine the two so it could honor my body on my physique, aesthetic goals. But do it in a way that is loving to my body that is promoting long term health as well.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yes. What a powerful story. So I want to kind of go back to when it started. You said it started in high school? Or was it like junior high?Casey Weiss:
In high school? A, it was basically the main starter of it was when I went on a trip to Ecuador, after my sophomore year of high school going into junior year,Blair Kaplan Venables:
and what do you like? If you don't mind talking about it? Like, what was it? Can you walk us through? Like the steps that it started?Casey Weiss:
Oh, yeah, definitely. So I grew up in a house where, you know, my mom cooked home cooked meals, I always had home cooked pastries and whatnot, really brownies and cookies. And it wasn't from restrictive mindset. My mom didn't buy a lot of processed food, but it wasn't in the within vein of like, you can't have that I just had food around and didn't really think much about it, I had healthy weight, I was very active, didn't really think too much about putting my body when at this time, though I was on this trip to Ecuador was a community service trip, and was the first time I really started to notice people around me like not finishing the food on their plate, like the other girls on the trip. I was like, am I not supposed to be finishing with one of my plate. And it just became this kind of narrative with me, like I just this comparison. And I was a small person. And it took me a long time to develop. And so I didn't really get a lot of attention from the opposite sex. And, and so when I came back from a trip and I lost my weight, and then I continued to lose weight, I started to get more attention from all sorts of people, and comments on my body. And not until later did I realize that this is partly fueled, because I wasn't getting that type of attention before, like, I was getting like negative negativity, but I also wasn't necessarily getting that type of attention on my body. And it kind of felt good, whether or not people were maybe even concerned, it was still attention to some degree. And that fueled it kind of further. And then kind of going further down this i This sense of feeling of control that for a period of time felt really good.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, were other things happening in your life that were out of your control that you you know, where you focus your control on your like, food intake.Casey Weiss:
So later, yes, in terms of with how this continued and persisted, but at the time, it really was a control at all angles kind of situation. Obviously, there's some things about Montreal, I couldn't give myself my own grades. But as I said, like that was my junior year was when I like, was starting to set to really do the best I ever had academically and do the best I ever had and track and really have an amazing group of friends. The next year, things really started to take a spin when it came to my friendships and whatnot. And then I saw using food as a control mechanism in a different way. But at that time, and again, I think that's why it festered, in a way that wasn't as noticeable to me at the time. And also, at the same time, a lot of people who may have been athletes, like it's accepted more in the community to not get a period or two. She's really small, because she runs a lot. I was a distance runner. But there were so many red flags that I wish that my care provider realize, initiallyBlair Kaplan Venables:
do. Yeah. So that's, that's interesting. Thank you for sharing. So the jury, like Did your friends and family notice that this was happening? And like, how did they approach it? With you?Casey Weiss:
So my mom definitely noticed that it was becoming an issue. She had me seek a dietician, who, to be honest, was incredibly unhelpful, not saying that all dietitians are that way, but she just made it have more tension around food with my mom and I and so then I would want to do everything in secret even more. So it was really not not a benefit to my situation. With doctors, you know, I mean, this is I haven't really talked about this before, but I added period of time, I literally put coins in my pockets when I would get weighed at the doctors so that they wouldn't know or they still knew I was underweight, but maybe not to the same degree. So they knew something was up and I still haven't got my period. And the crazy thing is, is I wanted to go on birth control to get my period because I just felt like I was 17 hadn't got my period. And they asked some questions at first but then just let me do it which is wild to me. And I talk with my mom and my mom feels so but obviously we're so open and my mom feels bad but I was like you didn't know what you didn't know and she did try and she made me shakes in the morning whatever I would have done them down the toilet and I would tell her I did it you know like it's it's really hard. Now looking back like I do Just wasn't willing to get better and help but also wasn't so extreme of what you see with other eating disorders that like I needed to be anything. Anything close to being Hopper lifts was anything wherever I was. SoBlair Kaplan Venables:
it was you hit it, you hit it out. Yeah, you were able to hide it.Casey Weiss:
Yes, exactly.Blair Kaplan Venables:
What was the straw that broke the camel's back when you knew you needed help, or you needed to get better.Casey Weiss:
So really, honestly, I give a lot of credit to my partner, my now husband, just realizing that I could have unconditional love from someone, regardless of what I looked like. I wish that wasn't the case, I wish that it only came internally. But that definitely was helpful in terms of me then having the confidence that I was deserving and worthy enough of seeking help. And I would also say, though, that I started to educate myself, this was already when I started doing some nutrition work before I got my multiple certifications, though. But at the time, I realized like, the, I'm not doing this, and I don't feel normal around food. And I knew that for a long time, but to the degree in which I realized I was having behaviors that were so detrimental to my long term health, I was like, I can't do it this way anymore. And that's when I decided that it was really time for me to reach out for help.Blair Kaplan Venables:
And thank you for sharing that. And like, kudos to you, because that's a big step. And, you know, we just met, but you know, I chose sobriety. Four years ago, my dad lived with addiction. And when I learned he was terminal, like, I had to cut out the things that made me feel worse, when like, I didn't feel happy, you know, my anxiety and depression. But like, it's really hard to change something that becomes part of you. And I'm not saying I was an alcoholic, but alcohol was the bridge to bad decisions. But when you're used to doing something like not eating or like Matt, you know, managing your living within your eating disorder, you know, and you were doing it for like you said over a decade.Casey Weiss:
It was less than a decade, but close to it. Yeah, like that'sBlair Kaplan Venables:
a long time. So like having to retrain yourself is you know, the fact that you were willing to get help. And you you started on that path is amazing. What type of help did you get.Casey Weiss:
So I initially went to a dietician, who was an intuitive eating dietitian, which was helpful to a certain degree. But when I what I realized was, again, kind of what I talked about before was that I needed more than just Intuitive Eating ideals, which again, really helped me get out of my state of just this cycle of restriction. But it wasn't until I saw a holistic practitioner, a naturopath who really helped work on the mindset with me related to food helped me understand nutrition better for my body, as well as getting away from restriction. That is actually when I feel a lot more safety in my body, because just the idea of like, let's not like eat, what not have the stigmas around food, that's great. And to get more into your body, that's great to understand your hunger, fullness is great. But I still didn't feel a sense of safety of like, I have the confidence that what I'm eating is correct. So yeah, it's great that I am allowing myself to have certain foods. And then then like the noxious going overboard when I do finally allow myself to have these foods. But at the same time, I didn't feel optimally healthy. Between that and then seeking some therapy as well. All of those things together really, really helped me be the person I am today and be in the state that I am.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That's amazing. And I love that not only did you like do some learning on your own, but you got help from professionals, because we don't have to go through our hard stuff alone. There's people out there trained to help us. And I think that's so beautiful that you had the support of your husband, your I'm assuming your mom and your family, and professionals. So let's talk about your work because your work is like it's in the same world of food. And it's almost like the complete opposite. And it seems like you're healing you did a lot of learning and that you wanted to give that same gift to people that have you know, maybe live with eating disorders.Casey Weiss:
Yeah, so I don't work with women who actively have eating disorders just because of what I know, of the role that I occupy. But I work with I do work with many women who have had passing disorders, but the space that I work most of women as you introduce me, women who've had years of dieting, feeling that they're yo yoing and just so not one with their own body. So through nutrition, through mindset work through healing, I take a holistic approach so that you can understand nutrition for your body so you can feel your best and really focus on health first and majority of women I work with do want to lose weight. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight as long as you're doing it from a place of love and a place of health. So again, I think intuitive eating can be incredible. For people, but I do have people who come to me who tried Intuitive Eating first and felt like they were shamed if they wanted to lose weight. Now, not everyone has to feel that with an intuitive eating community. MSSM I think there's amazing aspects of intuitive eating andBlair Kaplan Venables:
weight. What is intuitive eating?Casey Weiss:
Okay, all right. Yeah, so intuitive eating, because I was just like, I'm like, IBlair Kaplan Venables:
know, I'm really intuitive. But like, I mean, I kind of like blackout. Sometimes when I'm snacking, and like, oh, shit, I finished the whole bag of chips, or like, I just ordered another cookie dough blizzard. So like, that's obviously not intuitive eating.Casey Weiss:
Yeah, so intuitive eating is a mindful approach to eating. And there are 10 Basically, main principles. So reject the diet mentality, honor your hunger, make peace with food, challenge the food, police feel your fullness, like cope with your emotion. So as you can see, it's all different aspects. And there's a great book called, like intuitive eating, where it goes over all of this. And again, this was really helpful within my healing. So as we can see, what Intuitive Eating does is, the principles are really based on reconnecting with your body, stopping, just doing things because of what diet culture has taught us. But as I said, with the people that I work with, they also have specific health goals. And again, when I say health goals, I don't mean weight loss goals do and I'll repeat, most people who come to me, they do want to lose weight, but we focus on health, how they can get bounce, energy, bounce, blood sugar, balance hormones, how they can, you know, feel better, in general, with better immunity, how they can keep up with their kids, or get their body ready if they want to get pregnant, or just live a better life overall, because they have more vitality because of their nutrition. So what I do is help people to create a better relationship with food and their body, while also empowering them with nutrition that they understand for their unique body, their unique goals, their unique needs, they can utilize. And it's not like a meal plan situation here, I really empower the women that I work with, so they can work with me and then move on from working with me and not have to go on or pay for another diet or meal kit system, right? It's so that they have the tools for life. And that is where we have been so freaking gypped as women in particular. And I know that this can apply to men too. But I really do focus on women's and women's health. We have been just told that we're supposed to be miserable, if we want to be healthy, and that healthy is equated with a body size. And that couldn't be further from the truth. And there is definitely a greater movement right now that is proving otherwise, but we still have a long way to go.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, a man. Yeah, I totally agree. And it's interesting, like, as you're saying that, like, I guess I'm someone who's tried every diet like, Oh, these pills help you lose weight, like, you know, gingko biloba or whatever pills actually have a gingko tree. It's funny, but like, ever since I started working out at the gym when I was 12. And that was because I the gym was in the school, and my mom was a single mom. So she dropped us off, and she was on the way to work. So I would just like go work out. And I've never really like, restricted my eating, but I've tried it like I've never like not given myself meals, like I love food. And that's like maybe part of the problem, but like I never was eating to fuel my body. I was just eating right. And growing up. You know, we ate a lot of pasta and not you know, and some salads but like I don't feel like it was like you said you had a lot of home cooked pastries and meals. And we didn't really have that because we had a single mom who was working full time. And so growing up I you know, I didn't think of it but when it was my later years like I'd say after high school into my like 20s or even 30s Like I have tried so many different things to the priority would be the feeling better and have more physical endurance to hike in the mountains and paddleboard and just feel better, especially because I'm a very like desk job. And losing weight was like the nice bonus and I actually ended up losing 20 pounds, because I was learning to fuel my body better. And because I was fueling my body better. I had more endurance for my physical activity like hiking up a mountain or riding my bike. And then my hormones got all fucked up. When I had my miscarriage and then my father in law died, my mom died my dad died, I people would deliver food I didn't care what I was putting my body Someone was giving me bagels, I'll eat the bagel, someone gave me lasagna, I'm gonna eat the lasagna and I am sober. So I comforted myself with food because I didn't, I didn't I didn't use the substances. And so it my hormones are finally in this place of being balanced because now I'm back to fueling my body and eating nutritious food. And it's just like, I feel like I like everything you're talking about. Like I feel like I'm a science experiment because like I've been going through all of it and everything that you're saying like it's very important but people out there like I'm 37. Like, I didn't know hormones could really mess up your health as much as like if they're out of balance and out of whack. And there's like, I mean, do you talk about other things to help with blood sugar and hormones and digestion? Like other elements besides nutrition?Casey Weiss:
Absolutely, yeah. Like,Blair Kaplan Venables:
yeah, like, my hormones are just getting back in balance. And I could feel it, like my skin was getting like cystic acne. And like, I couldn't lose weight. And I felt bad. My anxiety and depression were bad. And so it took a long time to figure it out. Because I was like, why am I not losing weight? And why am I feeling so sluggish? I mean, I didn't get off the couch for a few years. But yeah, I want to talk a bit more about like, you know, because this interview is gonna slowly wrap up and but like, I think it's not just like what you nourish yourself with. Right? It there has to be other things, too.Casey Weiss:
I love that you words use the word nourish, because that's exactly it. When we thought focus on nourishment, we think about just nutrition. But nourishment has to come from all angles, including our environment. And I'm not just talking about sleep, right? We need to focus on our boundaries, our surroundings, how we're talking to herself, our stress levels. I mean, for example, cortisol is a hormone. And there's a thing famous thing called the cortisol, steel, because hormones are created like from from similar pathways. As result when you then are over producing cortisol as a result, you cannot produce enough of the proper other hormones. So that's a very simplified thing, I can go into a lot more detail if we had more time. But we need to understand how everything interplays together. And that's why I'm so passionate. And I'm so proud to be a holistic nutritionist, because I focus on all aspects of your life. And if you're not finding joy in other ways in your life, then of course, what are you left to do other than to eat food or to drink or to engage in drugs. And that is not your fault. It's because you haven't been taught other pathways. So we need to work on ways that you can fill your cup. And you can be proud and you could feel worthy, because we can use food to cope to some degree, but it is not healthy to have it as our primary and only coping mechanism.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Amen. Casey. I mean, like, everything works together, right. And it's interesting, I talk often about the five secrets to strengthening your resilience muscle. And one of the one of the main ways that I talk about to be more resilient, is how you fuel your body and not just like what you consume by your mouth, but like also like where you spend your time what you watched the music, you listen to the type like, are you listening to True Crime podcasts? Or are you listening to heavy metal? Or are you listening to like, Zen meditation music, and you know what I mean? So I think like it, like when you are nourishing your body, fueling your body in a healthy way, that is a way for you to be more resilient. And I just, I love how this all like kind of tied up together in a nice bow. Because, like, I'm someone who knows, like, I feel like I mean, I've gone through I've gone through the motions. And so so have you and I bet you a lot of us listening can relate, unfortunately. And so how can people find you if they want to work with you, or learn more about you or just like, Instagram stalk you?Casey Weiss:
Thank you. So I'm definitely active on Instagram, your case for wellness all one word, because my website as well. But honestly, the best way to contact me and figure find out about my programs. And what I'm currently offering is your case for wellness on Instagram, when going to that Lincoln bio, I do private coaching, group coaching. And then on a separate note, I actually just launched a pregnancy course which is a new thing for me that I launched with my co coach friend who's a pre postnatal specialist. So just another another thing there but love just chatting with anyone truly about anything. So send me a DM on Instagram at your case, wellness.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I love that. And her links are in the show notes her full bio, which I didn't read as you know, they're sitting in the show notes. Go check her out. So one final question for you. What advice do you have for someone who is listening to this? Who you set off an alarm bell who's like, you know what, like, I think I have an eating disorder. What is the what is your advice for the first thing that they should do?Casey Weiss:
Honestly, seek help. Because there is nothing wrong with seeking help. And there it's only to your benefit. Maybe you don't have a quote unquote, eating disorder from the textbook definition. But if you feel in any way that you have an issue with food. Also, I want to say that a lot of people don't get help because they don't think that they have an extreme of having anorexia or having bulimia or having binge eating disorder. So they think it's not worth getting help. That couldn't be further from the truth. If you feel not normal around food, if you're always thinking about food, you're stressed about it. You look at others and say I just wish that I could eat the way that they do and not be thinking about this all the time. It's a sign that you should seek help. Now you can go to your prime marry care physician, to a therapist that they can help to guide you, obviously, since this is very generally speaking, but you should know that you deserve help. And you don't have to be at some extreme in order to seek that.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That is brilliant advice. And, you know, because of my issue recently, I got help, I worked with an obesity doctor. And we're working on my mindset because I'm someone who turns to food and I think maybe not binge eating, maybe binge eating, I have an app and I meet with a doctor. So and there's nothing wrong with that, you know, we need to do what we need to do to be healthy. And there's no shame in that because it is okay to not be okay. So thank you so much for joining us for this episode. You are amazing. You're doing some really important work in the world and I really appreciate your honesty and openness and vulnerability.Casey Weiss:
Thank you so much. It was such a joy being able to speak with you. Thanks for having me.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Thanks. And to everyone listening. Thank you for tuning in to another episode of radical resilience. We are in your ears new episodes drop every Friday. And you know, we've been talking about it the global Resilience Project book number two is now open for applications book number one and became an Amazon bestseller internationally. And book number two, we'll probably do the same and more we have a limited spots available. Go to the global resilience project.com If you want to submit your story, if you have questions, you can book a call with me. But let's tell your story. Let's be let's be in this resilience textbook essentially together your story can help someone going through something similar and in fact telling your story is part of your healing journey. Just know that it's okay to not be okay we are the lighthouse in the storm the light at the end of the tunnel. You know you don't have to do this alone. We are with you every step of the way. You are resilient.